Still being a bit of a novice at this grandparenting thing, I’m told that grandchildren generally chose their own monikers for their grandparents, something easy to say, at times comical and endearing little things that stick like glue: Mimi, Nana, Papoo…so I was curious what the first of this new generation was going to choose for us.
Our oldest daughter, however, took that into her own hands, and has done a fabulous job preparing her little one to know us as (are you ready for this one?) “Grammy J and Papa Chief”. I mean, to the point that our two-year-old granddaughter even calls us those names now. Her mom also does a great job at using the technology we didn’t have available 30+ years ago to keep us connected with all the stages of growing up, and makes sure that we video-chat so that her daughter recognizes our faces and voices. I cannot express how grateful I am when my grandchild who lives half a continent away runs up to hug me in recognition when we are able to get together!
I see it as a “here with you; home with you” kind of thinking. When I’m talking with our daughter and her family, we are connecting, laughing, still doing some eyeball-to-eyeball communicating. I can facial expressions, body language, hear the voice inflections, all those important nuances that are an important part of human interaction. The internet connection in that part of the state is not always the best, especially the further away from the main computer they get, and sometimes the picture gets a little fuzzy and/or the picture freezes or the voices are delayed. Nevertheless, it’s being in the here and now with them, real time, and I love that. But let’s face it; it’s not the same as being there, really being there where I can hug and hold and help with the dishes.
What it does, however, (that is, besides soothing my motherly/grandmotherly heart), is prepare me to be home with them on those oh-so-rare occasions when that happens. The little one recognizes us, and is ready for us, rather than “who are these strange big people and why are they invading my living space” kind of reception.
Recognition and reception are the key words here. God understands these concepts better then I do:
“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.”
God tried to prepare them, in more ways than one—moral code, family connections, prophets, revivals, disciplining consequences, miraculous provisions, to name a few. Then Jesus came, and we all know how that went with the organized religious leaders who’s task it was to prepare the way…
So, right now, on this side of forever, I am here with God. I may not always have the clearest connection (especially the further out I go, if you get my meaning…) but I have the Holy Spirit in me, teaching His name, character, and will for me. I undoubtedly won’t understand everything that happens right now. There is pain to be processed, doubt to be dealt with, mysteries beyond my capacity to answer. But through all of this, I have the amazing privilege of face-time with my Father. Being here with God, in His presence, means I can know Him for who He really is, and thus know myself for who I’m created to be.
The main point of all of this, however, is to prepare me to be home with God. And what a reception that will be!
John 1:10,11 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.